What are the benefits and risks of home ownership for low-moderate income households?

30 Jan 2012

The study emanated from a concern that popular and political support for home ownership is such that critical questions about the degree to which all home owners realise the projected financial and non-financial benefits of home ownership are rarely asked.

In particular, do low-moderate income households gain the same benefits as households on middle and higher incomes, and irrespective of where they buy, or are these benefits offset by additional financial risks, including high mortgage burdens, reduced ability to accumulate wealth, locational constraints, and having to sell at a loss if a household moves in the early years of purchase?
The US sub-prime housing crisis and its broader implications for national and global financial systems has generated much more attention to the financial and non-financial risks associated with home ownership than previously. This study with its detailed analysis of the benefits and risks of home ownership for low-moderate income households has the capacity to inform housing policy in the post-global financial crisis context (discussed in Chapter 1).
This is the Final Report of the study. It follows, and builds on, a Positioning Paper which:

Provides a detailed review of the Australian policy context for home ownership by low-moderate income households and contrasts this with the US policy context which led to the sub-prime crisis.

Develops the conceptual framework for the research which draws on an extensive review of the Australian and international literature on home ownership for low-moderate income households.

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